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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  October 13, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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10/13/14 10/13/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica this is democracy now. >> shoot! >> thousands gather in in missouri for ferguson october to call for justice in the killing of unarmed black teenager michael brown. it's been two months since police officer darren wilson gunned brown down. then, today marks columbus day, a federal holiday to commemorate the arrival of christopher columbus to the so-called "new world" in 1492. but the holiday has long evoked sadness and anger among people of color, especially native americans.
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>> columbus committed heinous crimes. quickly gives the indigenous people. >> lanes of natives. please reconsider. if this is a menu want to honor. >> well last monday, the seattle city council unanimously adopted a resolution to celebrate the second monday in october as indigenous peoples' day. we'll go to seattle to speak with socialist city councilmember kshama sawant, one of the resolution's sponsors. sawant helped win a $15 an hour minimum wage for all workers in seattle. we'll also look at a new report called "the glass floor: sexual harassment in the restaurant industry." worker, $2.15 an hour is just not going to cut it. this will definitely help eliminate a lot of the injustice we are expensing as women in the
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industry, a lot of sexual harassment. one day i will feel like i don't have to take it. .> among our guests, eve ensler all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a nurse in dallas, texas has become the first person to contract ebola inside the united states. the nurse helped care for ebola patient thomas eric duncan, who died last week. thomas frieden, director of the centers for disease control and prevention, said the exact cause of transmission is unknown. >> we don't know what occurred in the care of the index patient, the original patient in dallas. but at some point, there was a breach in protocol, and that
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breach in protocol resulted in this infection. >> the case has raised concerns hospitals are not adequately protecting workers from ebola. the union national nurses united says 76% of 2,000 nurses surveyed said their hospitals had not communicated any policy to them regarding admission of potentially infected patients. the union has threatened to picket hospitals if nurses are not granted protections including hazmat suits and hands-on training. meanwhile, a top u.s. health official says an ebola vaccine would likely be ready if it weren't for budget cuts. francis collins, head of the national institutes of health, told the huffington post, "frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine." in liberia, thousands of healthcare workers are set to go on strike today to demand higher hazard pay, safer conditions and life-insurance benefits.
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95 healthcare workers have died of ebola in liberia, the same number have died in sierra leone. turkey has agreed to let u.s. forces use its military bases to fight islamic state militants in iraq and syria. u.s. officials say turkey also agreed to train moderate syrian rebels. the obama administration has been pressuring turkey to play a greater role against the militants who are battling kurdish fighters for control of kobani, a key syrian town on the turkish border. over the weekend a triple suicide bombing in the eastern iraqi province of diyala killed 60 people and injured over 120. hours earlier, roadside bombs killed the police chief in anbar province, just west of baghdad. the province is reportedly on the verge of falling entirely into the hands of isis militants. cnn reports iraqi's military has abandoned a key base outside the city of hit, one of its few remaining outposts in anbar.
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the islamic state has released the third video of british hostage john cantlie, part of what it claims will be a seven-part series. the video contains no reference to events dating back to early september, indicating it may have been filmed over a month ago. two u.s. drone strikes killed up to eight people in pakistan on saturday. the strikes reportedly hit a vehicle near the pakistan-afghanistan border and a compound in the khyber region. pakistani media identified the dead as suspected militants, including a senior member of the newly created al qaeda in the indian subcontinent. the attacks bring the total number of u.s. drone strikes in pakistan last week to at least eight. at a conference in cairo, international donors have pledged $5.4 billion in aid to palestinians, about half of it dedicated to reconstruction in gaza, which was devastated by
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this summer's israeli assault. secretary of state john kerry pledged $212 million in new u.s. aid. >> out of this conference must come not just money, but a renewed commitment from everybody to work for a piece that meets the aspirations of israelis, palestinians, and for all the peoples of this region. >> speaking at the conference, u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon said -- "we must not lose sight of the root causes of the recent hostilities: a restrictive occupation that has lasted almost half a century, the continued denial of palestinian rights and the lack of tangible progress in peace negotiations." ban ki-moon will visit gaza on tuesday. thousands of people traveled to st. louis, missouri to take part in ferguson october, four days of action calling for justice in the case of michael brown and
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the former police practices nationwide. overnight, 70 people were arrested in a sit in at a gas station in the st. louis to put of shawl, or police fatally shot another 18 euros african-american, vonderrit myers. we'll bring you voices from the streets of ferguson after headlines. pro-democracy demonstrations have continued in hong kong despite opposition from hundreds of people who tore down barricades and clashed with the protesters. the demonstrators have vowed to continue their call for greater political freedom from china. in news from south america, bolivian president evo morales has won a third term in office. early results from sunday's election show morales with 60% of the vote. morales became the first indigenous president of bolivia in 2006. in neighboring brazil, environmentalist and third-place presidential candidate marina silva has backed pro-corporate candidate aecio neves in the upcoming runoff election. neves took 33% in the initial
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round of voting while rousseff took 41%. they face a runoff on october 26. 17-year-old activist malala yousafzai is going to continue campaigning for girls education after becoming the young this person ever awarded the nobel peace prize. this award,ceived but this is not the end. this is not the end of this campaign which i have started. i think this is really the beginning. i want to see every child going to school. >> be on her well-known views on education, malala yousafzai has criticized u.s. drone attacks in pakistan am a telling president obama during a meeting last year that the strikes are fueling innocent and killing people. she has also publicly supported socialism, telling a conference in pakistan last year "i am convinced socialism is the only answer and i urge all comrades to take the struggle to a
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victorious conclusion. only this will free us from the chains of bigotry and exportation." texas, abortion providers are reporting a massive spike in phone calls and waiting times for abortion after a court ruling shuddered all but eight abortion providers in the state. a spokesperson at the planned parenthood facility in austin told the houston chronicle he received seven times as many calls as normal last week, many of them from cities such as midland and mcallen, where abortion access evaporated overnight following the ruling by the fifth circuit court of appeals. the ruling allowed hospital style building requirements pass as part of a sweeping anti-choice law to come into effect overnight. on thursday, the appeals court declined to revisit its decision. former nsa and cia director michael hayden has said he does not believe the government should prosecute "new york times" reporter james risen. risen faces potential jail time as the obama administration
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seeks to force him to testify at the trial of a former cia officer accused of giving risen classified information. risen's book "state of war" details a failed cia operation to deliver faulty nuclear bomb blueprints to iran. general michael hayden, who led the cia until 2009, and before that, led the nsa, told lesley stahl on "60 minutes" he does not think risen should be forced to divulge his source. i amke america, conflicted. i am. you're talking about ruining lives over things about which people are acting on principle. i think very careful about it. >> c would not be pursuing jim if you had the decision to make? >> frankly, i don't understand point. >> james risen will join us democracy now! tomorrow to talk about his new book, "pay any price: greed, power, and endless
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war." seven high school football players in new jersey have been arrested and accused of sexual assaulting four teammates. the players, between 15 and 17, are accused of holding down and penetrating fellow students in the locker room. the football program has been suspended. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. since the killing of unarmed black teenager michael brown in ferguson, missouri two months ago, protesters have taken to the streets to call for the arrest of the police officer who gunned him down, darren wilson. defying a militarized crackdown that drew world headlines, the young activists have made ferguson the ground zero for the movement against police brutality and racial bias. well this weekend, thousands of people traveled to st. louis to take part in "ferguson october," four days of action calling for justice in the case of mike
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brown and the reform of police practices nationwide. in addition to protests, the weekend events included an inter-faith meeting, civil disobedience trainings, a gathering for women activists, and a hip-hop concert featuring talib kweli and dead prez. democracy now!'s aaron maté and messiah rhodes were there to cover a day of protest on saturday, from a mass march in downtown st. louis to another protest later that night at the ferguson police department. these are some of the voices of ferguson october. >> hands up, don't shoot! hands up, don't shoot! >> we're about eight miles from ferguson, missouri where michael brown was shot dead by officer darren wilson on august 9. two months later, activists have organized a weekend of resistance, ferguson october. one of the main actions as the saturday morning march were hundreds behind the have
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gathered to call for officer wilson's arrest. >> we have been shown that we cannot trust this country to protect us. so i need y'all to remember that we are community. we are family. this is your people. keep your people safe. this entire weekend. i am a local pastor in this community. what is going on today is that the people of this country, of this justice for all, we're tired of it not being justice for all. today we are here to make a stand, that either we get justice, or we shut the street down. >> i am from st. louis and president of the st. louis chapter. we have asked for an independent prosecutor to investigate the killing of michael brown.
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that is one of our major demands. this situation has shined a spotlight on some other issues in the african-american community. particularly, the economic situation. 97% of african-american males sorry, 19 and 24 -- i'm 67% are unemployed. that is an issue. the other issue is we're finding in ferguson and other black cities, a lack of african-american involvement in the government of those cities. arehose kinds of things being pointed out by the situation. >> we are here to struggle against injustice everywhere. that is why i'm here. i am here to share in this movement. mike brown is me. mike brown is my son, you know. like round is everybody out here who can't walk down the street. >> we're tired of being harassed.
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we are here as to mr. workers to stand up for justice, just in a solidarity with leslie mcfadden and her family, to lift up the burden that women of color and immigrant women bear when one of our children is murder by the police or vigilantes. again, to work as hard as we can to make sure there is not one more darren wilson. >> the police kill black use all the time. too often. but it usually happens, people get mad and it dies down and they push it under the rug. here in ferguson, the use stood up. they stayed in the streets. they did not let your grass rubber bullets are national guard mobilizations or curfews stop them. and because they stood up, if forced the whole country to look at this and even open it up to the whole world. >> no justice, no peace1
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>> we're marching for the same low -- famous st. louis arch. people across the country, organizers are saying this is the largest protest to date. the people came out. we told people to come. i am here from brooklyn, new york. i think there are in alignment between the devaluing of human life, the occupying of the land of people where they live and where their livelihood is, the kind of lack of remorse we have for looking at dead babies .ontinuing to justify action same thing in ferguson, bringing out the military can start own people for resisting a brutal murder of an unarmed young man in the continuing systematic racism that we continue to commit against people of color in the u.s.
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>> i live here in st. louis. i have lived in st. louis since 1961. i very quickly became aware how racist this city is. it is probably one of the most racist cities in the united states. and what happened to michael brown is not that unusual. unfortunately. 90.ou recently turned you survive the not the holocaust. what keeps you marching? i guess i can't stop. i don't know how to stop. like. what depression is as a child in germany under the nazi regime, i experienced it. are the same,ons but there always similarities. we're all the same. one human race. the protest has marched down
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market street past the st. louis arch and arrived at keynote park to hear from a series of speakers. freedom summer. this is our freedom summer! >> we get all the same people on the front lines to get out here and protest for the light to live and we get -- right to live and we get to aghast and maced and rubber bulleted. i've spent more time in jail than darren wilson, and it is ridiculous. we are sick of it. we are tired. we are tired and we want st. louis to know in front of this arch that we aren't going anywhere until you stop killing us. you will stop killing us. and we mean that. >> we're here with jesse williams from "grey's anatomy."
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why are you here? >> because i could not get here sooner because i had a work. i got here soon as i possibly could. i think we need to stand up and show support for incredible weekend of resistance. people coming from all over the country to say, enough is enough and we are not going to be strung out in isolation anymore. we're recommitting ourselves to finding common ground and unity, finding what is common to all of us. and that is the basic desire to be able to survive and to not be killed with impunity. they've taken in 02 serve and protect us. oa toth serve and protect us. we want to make sure that everyone is held accountable for breaking the law. if they happen to be wearing a blue shirt that we paid for, they should probably be held accountable, also. user platform as is liberty speak out on issues of racial justice. what kind of response have you gotten? >> response that i have gotten
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is right down the middle. i get plenty of negativity and hate and racism. i get plenty of spiteful comments, but that was always there anyway. i also get plenty of love and support. neither one of those are really a factor for me. i was an activist first. i was in the streets of philadelphia first. it really has zero to do with my awareness of what is going on in my giving a damn about human life, disenfranchised people, indigenous people, that is holding up ourselves to the ideas we claim to pledge to everyday. >> [indiscernible] want there need t
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anything for 4.5 minutes. i don't want to sound for 4.5 minutes and honor of mike brown. starting now. four minutes and 30 seconds. groundown laid on the for over four hours. don't forget it. that is how long he laid on the ground. don't forget it. put your hands up, don't shoe. hands up! >> don't shoot! we are marching to the brand-new police headquarters that the state spent
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multimillions of dollars to renovate an older building, even though they had one that was intact. as we approach, we are going to --come first. then we will get organized. >> as we hit the last wretch of this march, we approach police headquarters. symbolics led by a casket behind me are marching silently. >> democracynow.or >> [indiscernible] i want to thank you for coming here in standing with us.
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>> five back! >> it is not time in ferguson. hours after 3000 people marched in downtown st. louis, protesters are back in the street where it all began, were two months ago michael brown was killed. we are marching out of the headquarters of the ferguson police department. protesters are trying to make way for michael brown's family, led by his mother leslie mcfadden. >> my name is melanie wilkerson. i came with a team of mine. we are from massachusetts. we drove here 18 hours. we see ourselves not as leaders trying to come in, but we're really regarding ourselves as allies and trying to just eight in whatever support the community needs. pushing us, pushing us, pushing as far enough,
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something will break will stop i think everybody here is representing a family member or someone who is unheard, murdered, killed, arrested, etc., etc., by the country they supposedly love. it becomes even harder. it becomes personal that way, right? we love the country that we live in, but we don't let the politics. >> i am from st. louis. >> people came in from around the country for this purpose and -- ferguson october. what does that mean? >> it means a lot to me because this is a nationwide thing. this is an just happening in ferguson. things need to change. -- this isn't just happening in ferguson. things need to change. [chanting] >> that report from democracy now!'s aaron maté and messiah rhodes. thanks also to hany massoud.
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and the protests continue in ferguson and the st. louis area. overnight on saturday, 17 people were arrested in a sit-in at a gas station near the st. louis neighborhood of shaw. protests have broken out in shaw since last week when police fatally shot vonderrit myers, an 18-year old african-american. police say myers fired at them and that they recovered a gun at the scene. but his family claims he was unarmed, holding only a sandwich he had bought minutes before. the officer fired 17 shots, hitting myers seven or eight times. on sunday night, vonderrit myers' parents led a march to st. louis university, where they held a four-minute moment of silence for their son. "ferguson october" concludes today with what organizers say will be more acts of civil disobedience around st. louis. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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>> a michael brown tribute. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. today marks columbus day, a federal holiday to commemorate the arrival of christopher columbus to the so-called "new world" in 1492. but the holiday has long evoked sadness and anger among people of color, especially native americans, who object to honoring a man who opened the door to european colonization, the exploitation of native peoples, and the slave trade. their outrage has led to campaigns like this one. >> columbus committed heinous crimes against millions of natives throughout the americas. courts, set the stage for slave trade in the new world. >> please reconsider if this is a man you want to honor.
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>> reconsider if you want to crimes ofthe columbus. >> pretending like it didn't happen or that it doesn't still impact us today >> take a day to learn the whole story. >> celebrate the people who were here first. petition for nationally recognized indigenous holiday. >> well last monday, the seattle city council unanimously adopted a resolution to celebrate the second monday in october as indigenous peoples' day. seattle isn't the first place to give the holiday another name. this year, the minneapolis city council also renamed columbus day indigenous peoples' day. in south dakota the holiday celebrated is native american day, while hawaii observes discoverers' day, which honors polynesian explorers. for more we go to seattle where we're joined by socialist city councilmember kshama sawant, one of the sponsors of the
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resolution to celebrate indigenous peoples' day. since taking office in january, sawant has also helped win a $15 an hour minimum wage for all workers in seattle. she is a member of socialist alternative, a nationwide organization of social and economic justice activists. welcome back to democracy now! talk about this resolution that you got past in the seattle city council. >> thank you for having me here. first of all, should say all of the thanks for the amazing resolutions -- for all of the amazing resolutions, those who brought it forward. it is an amazing milestone we have had. sure that we acknowledge the absolute horrors of colonization and conquering that happened in the americas at the hands of the european
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so-called explos. and columbus was one of the primary instigators. he was a prolific slave owner. he was that only single-handedly but a part of the european mission to plunder and pillage, responsible for mass enslavement and genocide, which reduced the population of the indigenous community from anywhere close to 150 million to a few thousand and just in your matter of decades. i think we should clarify that some people have seen this as a slight against italian-americans. nothing could be further from the truth. we should celebrate in a tie-in heritage day to celebrate -- a tie and heritage day to celebrate the community and celebrate the wonderful courageous work that i tie-in americans have done in their fight against racism, in their leaving work in early labor movement of the united states and the work they're doing today a social justice activists. response to get your
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to some who were critical of this being passed. criticism of the resolution, seattle resident scitelli said -- your response, kshama sawant? >> i would say most italians would not equate columbus day to ita heritage day. lian i do not equate them. columbus day is a celebration of columbus and the story we are told was that columbus was an explorer, really intrepid person
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adventure and that is supposed to be inspiring to us. unfortunately, that is based on a life. that idea of columbus as an explorer is based on a lie. columbus did not discover america. he plundered it. he brutalized its people. i would think people in general, whether they are italian or indigenous or any ethnicity, would want to align themselves with people who are for social justice, not somebody who represents a symbol of massacre and plunder. and i think most italian-americans with heard people -- most of the people who are from the italian-american community have thanked us for doing this ever representing their true ideas, that they do not want to celebrate somebody who is a symbol of racism and mass murder. and it really is an abomination.
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but let's come together to bring about an italian heritage day and make sure we don't let this sort of idea, this mythical idea that columbus was an explorer, divide us. we all need to come together. if you look at what is happening around us, you are just reporting about ferguson. everything that is happening around us is showing us more and more people are realizing that in general, the system of capitalism that rests on a history of slavery and colonialism and continues the exploitation and war and violence to this day, is not working for us. we need an alternative. there's never been a better time for us to fight for socialism, fight against corporate domination. >> historian and activist hasnne dunbar-ortiz a written an open letter to president obama asking him to change go on the state indigenous people's day. she ends the letter with this call the action --
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can you comment on this and whether president obama has responded? >> i don't know that president obama has responded. in fact, i would not be surprised if you did not by himself them in the sense it will need a mass movement that supports the demands of the indigenous people to revoke columbus day. any change that the indigenous community or any other marginalized community has obtained, it is been because of our own courage, because our own dedication for our willingness to step up and fight back. the resolution that we have passed in seattle, i see that as a part of that nationwide process to bring about justice to the indigenous community, not
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only in the form of a symbolic reparation, but actual changes. we want this resolution to be a building block to start a conversation, april debate about why is it that we see such -- a real debate about white as we see such brutalization of our indigenous community even today. i think this conversation is much broader than it might appear on the surface. we're just coming back. we were at the people's climate smart on september 21. the question of climate change, the question of resources and who owns the resources and who gets to pay the price for the plunder of our natural resources -- that issue is global, but it is also connected to the fate of the indigenous community. they are some of -- they have been some of the most courageous fighters against the keystone xl -- a fightgainst against poverty and
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marginalization. there also engaged in a fight against corporate domination, against the domination of big oil and big coal. and all over south america, all over the amazon, we see indigenous activists courageously fighting back. sometimes they have to pay with their life. i think we now, our task on the left is to join these movements together, give much more amplified voice to the struggles of the indigenous communities by realizing their struggle is connected to the black struggle in ferguson, the struggle of women against sexism and sexual violence, connected to the struggle of workers overall for workplace justice. and build a larger team of movement, and explosive era of social movement. >> it is an interesting connection you have to this issue. you come from india, kshama sawant. crist for colwas -- chris for cs
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thought he was in india. which is why we call native americans indians? >> that is correct. columbus was headed on a route to india. the reason they were headed to india is also very much connected to the need for a vast base of cheap or free natural resources, free labor, and extensive markets. this whole process of colonization for which the americas were colonized, for which my own continent and south asia was colonized, africa and south america, experienced conquest. all of this process was not because there were a few wantonly cool people in that century. it happened because the early development of capitalism required those resources, required to expend itself in that way, and capitalism in the early days also required slavery. it required the open market. it required to establish
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monoculture. they had to militarily control the land that they ended up occupying. in that way, india has had a similar history to the americans because we were also colonized by the europeans and ultimately i really well-established british empire. indian people had to build strong movement. many of those moments were led by socialist -- movements were led by socialist to gain independence. what we see now in these countries, we see the cycle of plunder and exploitation being repeated over and over again. you see this going on over and over again. i think the question we have to ask how long are we going to inability and a system that will go on generating this cycle of poverty and a way station anwar where more and more marginalized communities are going to be paying the price?
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i think this raises the larger question of systemic change that we need to talk about. >> i want to switch gears a little bit to get your comment on the youngest ever winner of the nobel peace prize. the pakistani education activist malala yousafzai. it was announced on friday the she is 17 years old, in 2012, she was shot in the head by a taliban gunman who boarded her school bus. she survived and continued to campaign for the rights of girls to go to school. while she was recovering in england, she sent a message to the meeting of pakistani marxists in lahore. she wrote -- a lot was made of the youngest nobel peace prize nominee or the announcement on friday come and not just the nominee, she will
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win this award on december 10. but there wasn't much reference to this quote. can you talk about it, kshama sawant, the first socialist city seattle.mber in >> i'm so humbled and just absolutely stunned and impressed but how courageous this very young woman has been against all the odds and fighting not only educationn right of and her identity as a woman, but using her platform to bring about attention to the many, many young children, especially girl children who are struggling for survival and for their rights. i think she might be -- i'm not sure -- but it seems to me she might be the first socialist who is been given a nobel prize since albert einstein. he won a nobel prize for physics.
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i think are a few people know that he was a socialist. same with helen keller. she was a socialist. these stores are not told because most of the media is dominated by the very system which needs to keep these stories buried because it will end up empowering people. imagine how empowering this is going to be too young people everywhere who know malala yousafzai has expressed solidarity with the idea of socialism. i think she is right on the mark. if you look at the extreme suffering that is being meted out to the people in pakistan, afghanistan, the middle east. all of the places which have been the target of the brutal imperialism from the west, the bloodbath that iraq is going through -- where is the solution to all of this? the only solution can be on the basis of rejecting capitalism, the system means that a few billionaires and if you ruling class politicians at the top get to decide how they're going to
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divide up the world's resources and go to war in that process and fight the wars? it is the poor in the united states to dine the wars and the poor of those countries. i think she brings a message of solidarity that we need to recognize our solidarity, not only is american working people, but as working people globally against a system, against a billionaire class that is continuing to exert such brutality and really miserable conditions for most of us. >> kshama sawant, i also want to get your response to the fact it was to people who were named nobel peace prize winners. malala yousafzai is a pakistani muslim. the other winner, 60 years old, men from india, hindu, who also has been working to stop the exportation to children, especially around the issue of making those rugs, kailash satya
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rthi. can you talk about the message the nobel committee is sending to india? >> i think the fact a nobel committee chose these two people -- obviously, i was not a fly on the wall when they decided that, but it seems to me that this is indicating the understanding that even the establishment figures, the people who run these countries, the people who run these committees, they are understanding that things have gone so far to the point that they have gone too far. alling, for decades, people over the world -- especially in those countries, especially in the new colonial countries -- have been pushed lower and lower into the brink. and the whole process of neoliberalism it was fit is dish visited on countries like india, the public services, funding for
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public education, all of this was done in the name of the structural program that was brought to these countries by the imf and the world bank. the fact there are now honoring jean went activist and fighters -- genuine activists and fighters, as opposed to obama who won the nobel prize and then carried on, it shows there realizing there's is a shift happening that only in terms of how miserable the conditions have become for the majority of the world's population, but the fact that the people who are at the receiving end aren't going to be quiet. look at the amazing movements that happened all throughout this world, especially in the less developed part of the world. what's we're going to take a break to talk about one of those movements, whole movement about not only increasing the minimum wage and living wage, but looking at the different sect yours of workers and what they make, particularly restaurant workers like waitresses. i would like to ask you to stay with us for that segment. kshama sawant is a socialist city councilmember in seattle,
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has helped win a $15 hour minimum wage for all workers in the seattle area. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we will be back with kshama sawant as well as playwright eve ensl, who herself, was a waitress for many years. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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this is democracyow mo, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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we end tay's show with a lo at a new report that finds up to 90% of women working restaurant jobs that depend on tips have experienced workplace sexual harassment. over 70% of tipped workers are women, and female restaurant workers are especially vulnerable to harassment in states wre tipped workers earn a federal minimum wage of $2.13 per hour. the federal minimum for non-tipped workers is $7.25 per hour. the new report is called "the glass floor: sexual harassment in the restaurant industry." it was released by the non-profit worker's advocacy group, restaurant opportunities center united, which also produced this video featuring a restaurant server named aisha thurman. >> on that end, i'm already losing. they just take whatever they want. they think my body is for them
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to enjoy, to look at, to touch. >> today just 7 states require employers pay a regular minimum wage before tips -- they are california, washington, oregon, alaska, minnesota, nevada, and montana. well on tuesday, living wage activists will draw attention to efforts that would expand this number. they're holding a national day of action called "not on the menu - rally against sexual harassment." here in new york they will rally at city hall to call on lawmakers to support "one fair wage" and end what they call "legalized pay discrimination against tipped workers." for more, we're joined by three guests. in berkeley, california, saru jayaraman is co-director and co-founder of restaurant opportunities center, or roc united, which released the new report, "the glass floor: sexual harassment in the restaurant industry." she is directs uc berkeley's food labor research center, and is the author of "behind the kitchen door." here in new york, we're joined by ashley ogogor, a member of roc united who is a restaurant worker in new york, and has
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worked as a waitress in texas and pennsylvania. we're also joined by eve ensler, the award-winning playwright and author of the vagina monologues. she helped create v-day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls, and the one billion rising campaign, which is now in its third year. eve ensler previously worked for 9 years as a tip-dependent bartender and waitress in new york city. still with us from seattle, kshama sawant for socialist city councilmember who helped when the $15 and hour minimum wage for all workers in seattle. welcome all of you to democracy now! talk about what you found in your report, saru. >> thank you for having me. first of all, a little bit of explanation about this system because it really is the basis for the report. industry is the second largest and fastest-growing sector of the u.s. economy, over 10 million
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workers in one of the largest employers of women in the united states. unfortunately, happens to be the absolute lowest paying employer in the united states. the real reason for that is the power of the national restaurant association, which we call the other nra, which has been named the 10th best powerful lobbying group in congress and back in 1996, under the leadership of herman cain, who later try to run for president, struck a deal with congress saying they would not oppose a very modest increase in the overall minimum wage as long as the minimum wage for workers who earn tips stayed frozen forever. so the wage has been stuck at $2.13 an hour for the last 23 years. the federal level. the same gel has been struck over and over for the last several decades in 43 states in the united states. restaurant association has done away with this extraordinary exemption a sickly saying, we should be the only industry on earth that should not have to pair on workers wages because you the customer should pay our
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workers wages for us. they have gotten away with this extraordinary assumption by painting a picture of a guy who works in a fancy fine dining restaurant in manhattan who earns $18 an hour in tips who is doing just fine, when in fact, 70% of tipped workers in america are women who largely work at restaurants like i hopped and all of garden and red lobster who suffer from three times the poverty rate as u.s. workforce and use food stamps at double the rate. what research has shown is this actually is not just about living the most economically precarious life imaginable. youru live off of tips, living completely off your tips, you never know how your income is going to bring in day after day. even worse with the recent test showing, this makes you even more vulnerable to the highest rates of sexual harassment of any industry in the united states. the restaurant industry is the single largest source of sexual harassment complaints to the eeoc and this is exacerbated by the fact that women living off
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of tips must tolerate whatever a them,er might do to however they may treat them or talk to them because the customer is always right because the customer pays their bills, rather than their employer. are twicehows women as likely to experience the sexual harassment from customers and also coworkers and management in states that pay as little as $2.13 an hour than they are in state provide the same minimum wage to tipped and nontipped workers like ,alifornia will stop even worse you're talking about 6 million women in america who must tolerate this every day of their lives, to be their families, because these are largely single mothers, beyond that, yet millions more young women who this is their first job in high school, college, or graduate school. and this is how we're teaching whatthem in -- young women is acceptable in the workplace, somewhere so, we've been approached by literally thousands of women from across america saying, i was a tipped worker in college. i now am a corporate executive
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or union organizer. i have been sexually harassed recently on the job, but i did not do anything about it because it was never as bad as it was when i was young woman working in restaurants. >> eve ensler, how did you get involved with this campaign? >> last year, we had a female panel where we brought together many women who are thinking about the intersection of injustices. saru was talking about the relationship to sexual violence. i think at that point, we realized this movement in these movements needed to join forces. i very happy that one billion rising revolution, our third year, is in collaboration with roc in the restaurant workers because i think not only are there so many women who are employed in the restaurant industry who are suffering from wages that are substandard, but this intersection of sexual violence being based on that substandard wage and being based on the fact that waitresses
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depend on the kindness of strangers rather than having real wages based on really difficult work that they deserve. i think one of the great things about this collaboration is the understanding we cannot and sexual violence against women unless we look at the intersection of economic violence. i think the work roc is doing is some of the best work i've seen in bringing not only waitresses and restaurant workers together, but uniting our issues. >> can you talk about, ashley ogogor, your own experience here in new york as a waitress and other places? >> first of all, i want to say thank you for having me. i am really excited. opportunity to work with roc. i am a member of roc new york as well as roc -- it is the local chapter here. my prior experience working in texas at $2.13 an hour, i was
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really shocked. i did not understand when i first went in. it was my first time. i would go around and ask why coworkers, how are you able to pay your bills? i was really nervous how i was going to work. it was very difficult. i received -- >> let's be clear, $2.13 an hour times eight, so making around $18 to $20 a day, if you are not getting tips. but tips are key. how do you feel it contribute to the issue of sexual harassment? >> there's a lot of unwanted comments that i received. i mean, like they said, the customer is always right. you don't want to make them upset. you learn to just ignore it. on occasion, i've gone to a manager and told them, you know,
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this guest is being a little bit difficult and i'm not sure how to handle it. they asked me, what are they saying? just comments about how pretty i am and i've had guest asked me out on dates. they said, it's ok. .ou should be fine they're giving you a compliment. just take care of the guest. it's like you have to learn how to just ignore it. -- it's reallyof big in this industry. i feel like it should be done away with. >> unit of the national liber relations board with your concerns? >> i did, in a will be going back. >> what is your complaint to them? >> there should be one fair wage. there should not be a sub minimum wage. $2.13 an hour, five dollars an hour, is unheard of, especially
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here in new york. the cost ofaway by living here in new york. five dollars an hour is not going -- it's not going to cut it at all. >> the national restaurant association says on its website -- saru, your response to that, that they can't earn less than the minimum wage? atwell, i think it to look government data, which shows the median wage protect workers in the united states, including tips come hovers just about eight dollars an hour. 70% of these workers are women. they suffer from three times the poverty rate of the rest of the u.s. workforce and use food stamp that doubled the rate.
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the department of labor has reported there is an 83% violation rate with regard to employers actually insuring that tips make up the difference between seven and a moment of $2.13 an hour and regular minimum wage. we just have 10 seconds. i want to go about the events covering up this coming up. >> tomorrow city hall at 11:00 we will be joining forces with roc and one billion rising. i think will be a major event and i am inviting everybody to come out and join us is that for restaurant workers and also stand up for women. restaurant work teaches women. it is an entry point job. it is like a hazing process. it teaches women what work will be like for the rest of your life. we don't want women to learn that work will be about sexual abuse, that wages that are not what you deserve. come join us. >> thank you for being with us, eve ensler, saru jayaraman, and ashley ogogor. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or
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mail them to democracy now! democracy now! p.o. box 693
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(music playing) ♪ hello, i'm hubert keller. i'm right here in the kitchen at fleur in las vegas, and as you can see, i have a beautiful veal display, different cuts, different parts of veal, so you can imagine what we're going to be cooking on the show, but at the same time, i want to show you the different cuts. i have some veal shanks over here that we're usually braising, slowly cooking. over here i have some veal tenderloin, another delicate cut of veal that you're searing and sauteeing very quickly. over here i have the sweetbreads, and those sweetbreads, that's exactly how they look, and they're definitely a great delicacy in france. here i have the veal rack which you can roast whole or you can cut the chops, and basically the king of the cuts, i have the veal loin right over here. you know, french chefs really love to cook with veal, and for several reasons. it's for versatility of the veal by itself

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